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US attorney general nominee denies KKK sympathies

04:08 Wed Jan 11, 2017

Taken from/By: Radio NZ
Report by: Radio NZ

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the new attorney general has denied sympathising with the Ku Klux Klan, in a tough Senate confirmation hearing.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, 69, also pledged to recuse himself from any investigation into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

A Democratic senator expressed “deep concern” about the Alabama Republican’s nomination.

But Democrats do not have the power in the chamber to block his confirmation.

The attorney general, America’s top prosecutor, leads the US justice department and acts as the main adviser to the president on legal issues.

Mr Sessions, 69, said during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that allegations he had once supported the KKK were “damnably false”.

“I abhor the Klan and what it represents and its hateful ideology,” he added.

Mr Sessions also acknowledged “the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters”.

Protesters repeatedly disrupted Tuesday’s hearing, including a couple dressed in KKK white robes who chanted: “No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA.”

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